Trade, industry cannot say they are not ready for GST: Jaitley

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 20, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister says there may be short-term challenges in the switch to new tax regime

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the trade and industry have had adequate time to prepare for the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from next month.

“For the last six months, we are saying the rollout date is July 1, so no one can say they are not ready,” he said, adding that with the relaxed timeline for filing of returns they have an additional two-and-a-half months to prepare.

“If he (trader) is still not ready, he will never be ready,” he said. To help industry deal with the teething problems in the new tax regime, the GST Council, in its meeting on June 18, had given additional time for filing of returns for July and August.

‘Not complicated’

The Minister said that there could be some short-term challenges in the switchover to GST, but industry must prepare itself. “It is not a very complicated system,” he said.

He, however, ruled out any disruption in the economy in the short-term due to the implementation of GST and said that it would be beneficial in the medium to long-term.

“I don’t think there will be any impact on growth,” he said, noting that already undeclared goods are coming into the system. “This reform step is for improvement. All reforms initially are seen as disruptive…,” he said.

He further said over the medium and long-term, GST, being a more efficient system, will help increase revenue. “Spending capacity of the Centre and States will increase and will have a positive impact on the GDP. The size of the formal economy will grow,” he said.

Briefing reporters about the launch of the new tax regime, he said the government plans a function at Parliament’s Central Hall.

“The launch will be exactly at midnight when the switchover takes place. There will be a brief function of about an hour.” Jaitley said, adding that two short films on GST will be also be screened.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan and two former Prime Ministers, including Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, will share the dais.

To acknowledge the efforts of successive governments at the Centre and State for the GST, the NDA government will inviteall members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Chief Ministers and State Finance Ministers and Chief Ministers, all members of the GST Council and previous Chairpersons of the Empowered Committee, to the function.

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Published on June 20, 2017
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